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Gresham and the Pearl


When Queen Elizabeth visited the Exchange, Sir Thomas Gresham, it is said, pledged her health in a cup of wine containing a precious stone crushed to atoms, and worth £15,000. If this tale is true, it was an exceedingly foolish imitation of Cleopatra (q.v.).

“Here fifteen thousand pounds at one clap goes

Instead of sugar; Gresham drinks the pearl

Unto his queen and mistress. Pledge it, lords.”

Heywood: If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody.

To dine or sup with Sir Thomas Gresham. (See under Dine.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Gregory (A)
Gregory (St.)
Gregory Knights or St. Gregory’s Knights
Grenadier Guards
Gresham College (London)
Gresham and the Grasshopper
Gresham and the Pearl
Greta Hall
Grethel (Gammer)
Gretna Green Marriages
Grey Friars
Grey Hen (A)
Grey Mare
Grey Wethers
Grey-coat Parson (A)